Personal injury is more common than most people realize. If you find yourself a victim of an accident caused by another individual, there are a few things you should know. This FAQ can answer most of the basic questions regarding personal injury claims. For more answers to your questions, you can contact Bauman Law APLC.
When Do You Need a Lawyer?
All personal injury victims are able to seek compensation. As long as the incident occurred because of another individual’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim. A lawyer can help you with the filing process.
Personal injury comes in many forms. For instance, it could involve a car accident. If another driver acted in negligence and caused your accident, you might need a lawyer. In 2018, there were 3,651 motor vehicle-related deaths in California. There were many others that involved serious injuries, and those victims deserve compensation.
If you experienced an injury from a defective product, you may also need a lawyer. For instance, a child’s toy that malfunctions and causes harm could be the reason for a personal injury claim. The same is true of any other defective products.
Even an injury on someone’s property could demand a lawyer’s attention. If the homeowner failed to warn you of a hazard they knew about, you could file a claim against them.
If you suspect personal injury, you should contact a lawyer. There are many other types of personal injury cases. By working with a professional, you can find out if your case qualifies.
Why Should You Use a Lawyer?
There are many benefits to working with a lawyer. For one, they can tell you whether or not you have a case. Before you waste your time filing a claim, you can find out if you are eligible for compensation.
A lawyer also increases your chances at a fair outcome. Often, insurance companies or the opposing counsel will make low offers for compensation. An experienced attorney knows how much money is appropriate for your circumstances. During negotiations or a court case, they can help you get what you deserve.
If you choose to handle the claim yourself, you need to do all the work. This means coming up with a legal strategy and representing yourself in court. For many victims of personal injury, this takes time away from recovering. By working with a professional, you can focus more on your own health.
What Does a Lawyer Do?
When a personal injury lawyer works on a case, they take on a great deal of work. A lawyer collects evidence that supports your claim. This means showing that the other party was responsible for the accident.
Furthermore, a lawyer needs to collect all of the medical records. They do the math to determine how much your injuries cost you. If your claim is successful, you could receive money for all of your injuries and for time missed from work.
In most cases, an attorney will contact the insurance company and work towards making a settlement. They handle the negotiations and try to resolve the situation out of court. If they can’t get you a settlement, they can fight for you in court.
Are There Time Limitations to the Claim?
Every state has its own laws regarding the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. In California, you only have two years to file the claim. If you are not immediately aware of the injury, you have one year to file from the date you learned of the injury.
The timeline is different for claims against the government. If you file against a government entity, you must do so within six months of the incident.
How Much is Your Claim Worth?
This is one question that has no clear answer. Every claim is unique. For that reason, you need to speak to an attorney to learn about the worth of your claim.
There are a few factors that can impact the worth of your claim. For instance, the severity of your injuries can impact the value of your claim. The more serious the injuries, the higher the value. Certain injuries, like broken bones or internal bleeding, are considered more severe.
The cost of your medical expenses also are included in the compensation When determining a fair claim offer, you should consider both the current and future medical expenses. This includes any medication and therapies you may need.
Another important detail is the amount of work you miss. If you miss work due to your injury, you could receive compensation for your missed wages. The more work you miss, the greater your compensation. In cases that involve permanent disability, the victims may never be able to work again. This impacts the value of your claim.
Finally, there’s the issue of pain and suffering. Serious and permanent injuries often result in higher values for pain and suffering. If the incident involved a death, the loved ones can seek compensation for loss of companionship and loss of income.
Will Your Case Go to the Courtroom?
When most people think of a personal injury claim, they imagine a courtroom trial. However, the majority of claims don’t end up in court. They end with a settlement between both parties. It’s often in the best interest of the other party to resolve the case quickly and out of the courtroom.
For a settlement to happen, your lawyer needs to negotiate with the other party. They explain how much you want in compensation, and wait for the opposing party to make an offer. You only go to court if there is no settlement agreement.
Who Can You File a Claim Against?
The individual on the receiving end of your claim is the one responsible for the accident. However, there may be multiple parties liable. In that case, you can file a claim against all of the negligent parties.
You might not file a claim against a person, but a government entity or business. For instance, a premises liability claim can occur against a business that was negligent. Your lawyer can explain more about liability and your claim. Contact us at Bauman Law APLC for more information.
- Types of Car Accidents
- Compensatory Damages in California Personal Injury Cases
- Personal Injury Law & Statutory Rules in California
- How Is Fault Determined in California Personal Injury Cases?
- Types of Personal Injury Compensation in California
- Steps to Preserve Your Legal Claim When You Are Injured by Another’s Actions
- Limits on Injury Damages in California